How to Create A Gallery Wall on a Budget

How to Create A Gallery Wall on a Budget

 by Lola Cadiz

September, 2023


Printable Wall Art at Atrecho Art


Building a gallery wall is an excellent home design project. Achievable for anyone—regardless of design skills and without buying any special tools. You can take art and photos that speak to you, and transform them into something that comes together as a cohesive collection.

Eclectic Gallery Wall

The good news is there’s really no wrong way to build a gallery wall. Tailor it to your own taste and to the vibe of your particular space. You can make yours sleek and minimal by using all of the same frames and spacing them evenly. On the opposite end of spectrum, you can mix and match frames (colors and materials), and space them in an intentionally haphazard way for a more eclectic look. Choose all white and black frames, maybe, or choose all gold frames in a variety of sizes. Save money by thrifting frames in your chosen style.  You'll find high quality frames for mere dollars this way!


Select Your Style

You'll start by identifying your style. A great place to start for any gallery wall is eclectic and colorful. If you have a very minimal, white, uncluttered house you may want to contrast with more color in your gallery wall.  If you have a traditional and more classic home style, consider a collection of antique prints.  Think of how you have decorated your home and how your chosen prints and frames will complement your current style.


To help you think through your style, consider the following two components:

1. Color: Do you want your frames to all match? Consider the colors of your art and photography. Choose complementary hues and tones. If you have a lot of color in your art, it’s nice to go with less mixing of frame color and material.

2. Scale: You can mix and match the sizes of frames, which creates a nice look to the wall and helps to fill the space. When you have a variety of art and photography, mixing and matching will give you lots of flexibility. If you’re hanging all similar items (black-and-white photos, for example), consider using all uniformly-sized frames and spacing them evenly.




Once you have decided on a style and framed all of your pieces, you’re ready to begin. If you’re planning on evenly spacing all of your art, you simply need to measure out where to hang, and get started. If you want the look of uneven spacing, you have two options for laying out the wall. 

1. Plan Ahead: If you want to be extra cautious about how the art will look, you can cut out pieces of paper and tape them up to figure out the layout you like. Here's a tip, use inexpensive brown construction paper or grocery paper bags. Cut out pieces that correspond with the size of each of your frames, then tape them to your wall. You can move them around until you like the spacing between each. This is a useful method as you can simply nail through the paper and pull it off after, which allows for more precision in hanging.

2. Freestyle: To do this, place all of your frames on the floor and arrange them in roughly the layout you think will look best. Then start hanging the first frame, and space each subsequent frame in relation to the ones next to it. This is slightly riskier, but you will end up with a more organic arrangement of frames, and the flexibility to make adjustments as you go.


Installation Tips

Start at the center and start to build around your center piece.

Make sure you test out your wall before starting to build. Check that it’s strong enough to hold heavier art, if you have heavy pieces. To do this, use a stud finder to check where the studs are in your wall. Nailing to the stud will be best for those heavier frames.

If your wall or surface has some unusual features, like moldings or paneling don't worry! Just decide whether you want to use those features as borders, or whether you want to just ignore them and treat the wall as one big blank canvas. In some cases, it will be equally stylish to just frame over the paneling, rather than using it to break up the wall visually into sections.

Mixing colors and shapes to create the final effect!


Art Tips

Wondering where to get art for your gallery wall? Atrecho Art is here to help! Shop our pre-curated Gallery Sets or build your own by browsing for pieces that speak to you.

Another great tip is to find beautiful wallpaper or pages from a thrifted coffee table book.  You can cut and frame these pieces to look like custom art. This is a fun and affordable way to find inspired pieces.

Whatever you go with, remember a gallery wall can be a living installation. Change it over time! Swap out pieces and photos with the seasons! With so many elements, it’s easy to refresh it when the spirit strikes you to reflect your current taste.

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